8 Signs Your Central Air Conditioner Needs to Be Replaced

By Ian | Nov. 23, 2020 11:14 am PST

When it comes to comfort in your home, few systems are more important than your central air conditioner. This system removes excess heat and humidity from your home, keeping the air purer and the space more pleasant.

Homeowners spend $11 billion a year to power their air conditioners — and 6% of a household’s average energy usage goes toward cooling — so when something goes wrong with the central air, it can be a stressful experience.

Here are eight signs that it might be time to replace your central air conditioner.

1. The Air Coming Out of the Vents Doesn’t Seem Quite Right

If the air flowing from your vents seems a bit off, it may indicate a serious problem with the central air conditioner unit. For example, you might notice that the air blowing out suddenly feels warm. A central air conditioner that blows warm air means that something has broken within the system. It could be a broken compressor or a host of other potential causes.

Or you might notice that the airflow suddenly decreases. Some of the most common reasons for this problem include issues with the ducts or the unit’s compressor.

What’s more, you might notice a strange smell coming from your air conditioner vents. Unfortunately, this odor can indicate a serious issue, like mold, that could affect the health of you and your family. Sears Home Services recommends immediately seeking help for strange-smelling air-conditioned air.

2. The Central Air Conditioner Doesn’t Respond Well to the Thermostat

In a properly functioning system, the thermostat controls the air conditioner unit and tells it when to switch on and off. If the thermostat doesn’t work correctly, you might notice certain areas of the home not being cooled well. The air conditioner unit might switch on and off at odd intervals or not switch on at all when the house gets warm.

Problems with the thermostat can indicate any number of issues and require careful evaluation by HVAC professionals to understand the source of the problem and how to address it.

3. You Find Yourself Calling the Technician Regularly

Although we recommend scheduled checkups, if you find yourself calling the technician often, it’s a good sign that it might be time to replace the entire unit. As repair calls become more frequent — along with repair bills — your system is reaching the end of its life.

Replacing your air conditioner system is more cost efficient and saves you from facing a potential breakdown. No one wants to find themselves without air conditioning, so give the system the care it needs now.

4. Your Air Conditioner Makes Strange Noises When Running

Many homeowners find strange noises coming from their central air conditioner disconcerting — and for a good reason. If you can hear strange noises, such as grinding or scraping, it’s a clue that something is wrong. For example, a belt may have slipped, or your unit may have worn-down bearings, causing the motor to fail.

Failing to take care of these issues immediately can quickly cause more damage to the air conditioner unit. You want to address the strange noise as quickly as possible to avoid a complete shutdown of your air conditioner system and the discomfort and costs associated with having no air conditioning.

5. You See Signs of Leaks Coming from the Unit

If you see signs of leaks around the air conditioner unit, you want to call Sears Home Services immediately. Leaks can result from a few different causes, typically either refrigerant leaking or moisture building up around the system. Both indicate that the system doesn’t work as intended and may need intensive repairs or a complete replacement. If the refrigerant causes the leak, it also poses a health threat to you and your family.

Leaking water can cause mold to develop in your wood, walls, and carpeting, which threatens the health of those in the home. If mold and moisture build up around the air conditioner, it can also result in large repair bills for the home, even after the central air conditioner has been repaired or replaced.

6. Your Air Conditioner Unit Is Well Passed Its Expiration Date

Most central air conditioners last 10 to 15 years. If the installation date on your unit shows it’s older than that, consider replacing it.

Like other types of technology, air conditioner units have improved tremendously over the years. Systems have become more energy efficient, which means they can keep your home comfortable with less energy.

However, as it gets older, the chance of your central air conditioner breaking also increases. Therefore, you run the risk of having no air conditioning until Sears Home Services professionals can get a new system installed.

7. Your Energy Bill Has Gone Up

If your energy bill has increased, and it’s not been hotter outside, that can be a sign that something is wrong with your central air conditioner.

A variety of problems can cause your system to work inefficiently. One reason is a leak in the ductwork, but Sears Home Services can only determine the source of your problem through a careful assessment.

8. You Feel Uncomfortably Warm in Your Home

Your central air conditioner should provide you with comfort. If it can’t adequately cool down the temperature of your home, you won’t be comfortable because your house is too warm and humid due to your AC failing.

When homeowners notice that their air conditioner is no longer cooling off their homes, they often have already begun to experience a buildup of moisture and humidity. Many people do not realize that their air conditioner both cools off the air and controls their home’s moisture.

When moisture levels get too high, it can encourage the growth of mold throughout the home, which can pose a danger to the household. Even the higher levels of humidity will diminish air quality.

Find a Reliable Central Air Conditioner Replacement

When it comes to taking care of your home and central air conditioner, you can trust our technicians at Sears Home Services to care for your needs. We understand that your air conditioner affects the comfort and health of everyone in your home, so we are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible.

Sears Home Services will send over a project consultant to evaluate your home to ensure your new unit isn’t too large or small for your space. And once our professionals install your AC system, you’ll receive a preventive maintenance check six months after the installation.

Whether your system doesn’t cool your home anymore, you smell something odd or you need to replace the system, you can trust us to take care of the problem. Our highly trained service technicians are licensed, vetted and ready to take care of your air conditioner needs.

Get a free in-home consultation